Juvenile Death Penalty Essay

1353 Words Sep 18th, 2011 6 Pages
Juvenile Death Penalty
One of the most controversial questions in the juvenile justice system today is, "Should the death penalty be applied to juveniles?”. A lot of people think that the death penalty for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment and should only be used for adults. The crimes that juveniles commit are as dangerous and as violent as adult crimes. People argue that the adolescent brain does not mature until the late teens or early twenties, and that death penalty should not be the resolution. Some studies show that childhood abuse or neglect can causes the child to commit crimes when they grow to adulthood. Debate about the use of the death penalty for juveniles has grown more intense because of the crimes they are
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Kent held that juveniles were entitled to a hearing, representation by counsel, access to information upon which the waiver decision was based, and a statement of reasons justifying the waiver decision. It included the sophistication and maturity of the juvenile as determined by consideration of his or her home life, environmental situation, emotional attitude, and pattern of living. These rights we made so that the justice courts can provide guidance and rehabilitation for the juvenile also with protection for society. There are some juveniles out there who are extremely dangerous and do not wish to change the way they are living their life.
In 1988 the case of Thompson v. Oklahoma it claimed that the Constitution prohibits execution for crimes committed at age 15. The outcome of the decision was that a State’s execution of a juvenile who had committed a capital offense prior to age 16 violated Thompson unless the State had a minimum age limit in its death penalty. (2) The court decided that juveniles younger than 16 when they committed a crime may not be executed. Wayne Thompson is serving a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. Another case in the juvenile death penalty cases is Atkins v. Virginia; The U.S. Supreme Court banned the execution of mentally retarded persons in 2002. Justices ruled that executing mentally retarded criminals violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The most important…

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